Dec 15, 2016

Cause/Prevention of Common Holiday Home Disasters


Top Disasters That Can Hit Your Home While On Vacation

Holiday season is a time of community and enjoyment. Traveling this time of the year is on its peak. If your leaving home, be sure to to the below preventatives precautions to minimize your chance for a home disaster while out and about.

  • House Fire
    1. Cause
      1. There are a variety of ways a house can catch fire. Whether it be a lightning storm, a tree falling on power lines near your home, a water heater malfunction, or simply leaving a space heater on while you’re away, a house fire is an unfortunate circumstance that can happen to anyone.
    2. Prevention
      1. The best way to prevent a unfortunate fire to your home is to unplug all devices not in use while you’re away. Also, check all trees within falling distance of your home or powerless nearby and make sure there is no trimming necessary.
  • Thieves
    1. Cause
      1. December is the most vacationed month of the year. Families travel across the world to visit each other during the holidays, leaving their homes susceptible to crimes.
    2. Prevention
      1. Lock all your doors and windows before you leave.
      2. Leave on a couple lights (or set them with timers to come on at night).
      3. If you know that one of your neighbors is staying in town for the holidays, ask them to keep and eye on your place for any suspicious activity; and, if they can stop by your place a couple times to ensure it’s safety and nothing is awry, even better.
      4. While you may not think twice about posting on social media that your family is traveling for the holidays, it may be best to keep this to yourself. Often posting that your house is vacant provides an easy target for theft.
  • Attic Fills With Critters
    1. Cause
      1. During the cold season, many small critters search for a location to nest and keep warm. Due to an attic’s warmth, they are an ideal location for animals to inhabit for the winter months.
    2. Prevention
      1. Every 3-6 months and definitely before the winter season comes upon you, be sure to inspect your roof for any damage/holes where animals could enter. This is best done by check both the inside and outside of your attic space. Before you leave for the holidays, be sure to check again that there are no animals/nests in your attic space. In a short amount of time this small invasion can rack up a large expense.
  • Lawn Dies
    1. Cause
      1. One were all too familiar with here in Central Oregon is a lawn dying from the immense amount of snow and cold weather during the winter months.
    2. Prevention
      1. In a climate like Central Oregon, it is difficult to prevent a lawn from deteriorating. As the warmer months approach, be sure to provide your lawn with fertilizer and enough water to be able to heal itself. In the unfortunate event that it is unable to reacclimatize to the warm weather, replacement sod may be necessary.
  • House Slides Away
    1. Cause
      1. While this may seem like a very low chance of occurring in Central Oregon due to the small amount of yearly rainfall, there are always anomalies in the weather that can make something like this occur. About 15 years ago, many home on Aubrey Butte were severely damaged due to a large amount of rain in a single day. This, along with an old home with deteriorating support, can cause a monstrous disaster that no one wishes to happen.
    2. Prevention
      1. Check all drains and supports near your home. Be sure to get inspections as needed to ensure your home is in a healthy condition prior to these unexpected weather abnormalities.
  • Interior Gets Covered in Mold
    1. Cause
      1. High humidity or any location with a leaking pipe provides a perfect location for mold to grow. Common locations include basements, under sinks, or bathrooms.
    2. Prevention
      1. Check your pipes and these common locations for any moisture prior to leaving your house for the holidays.
  • Tree Falls on Roof
    1. Cause
      1. Windy conditions or unhealthy trees can cause a disastrous amount on damage to your home. Whether it just be losing power to your home or your roof caving in from a fallen tree, these giant plants can cause great harm to a household.
    2. Prevention
      1. Check to make sure there are no dying trees near your home and that all limbs are a safe location from any locations prior to leaving for the holidays. It may be necessary to hire a tree trimming service to take care of any potential risks. Better to be cautious than regretful.
  • House Floods
    1. Cause
      1. Again, while this may seem unlikely for a place like Central Oregon, there are always anomalies in the weather. Improperly maintained drains can cause a large damage to one’s home.
    2. Prevention
      1. Make sure to inspect that all drains and rain gutters are working properly around your home.
  • Freezing Pipes
    1. Cause
      1. Central Oregon is never short of cold weather during the holiday season. With no water flow through pipes, freezing temperatures can cause them to burst, causing water damage throughout your home.
    2. Prevention
      1. Make sure to turn your faucets on to slowly drip to keep water flowing through your pipes and prevent freezing while on vacation.

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Summer is in full swing, and it’s time to make sure your home can handle the heat. These quick fixes don’t take much time, but they can have a big impact on your home the rest of the summer and throughout the year.

Check your gutters. When summer storms hit, your gutters need to be able to take the pressure. If anything appears loose or bent, have a professional repair it.

Test for pipe breaks in outside faucets. Open the tap and put your finger over it. If you can stop the water, it is likely that there is a leak or break somewhere in the line. Even if you’ve already used your outside faucet, test it – it might be leaking and you might never know it!

Clean, repair, and install screens. Check that everything is in good repair, and patch or replace as needed.

Consider options to lower your energy bill. When the temperature goes up, so does your energy bill. Check out options like reflective film and specialized curtains and blinds to help keep the outside heat out of your home, cutting down your costs.

Clean and service your AC and heating. Have a technician come out for a quick clean and service to be sure everything is ready to go for summer use.

Dispose of any hazardous materials in your garage or workroom. If you were doing projects over the winter, make sure you don’t have anything dangerous hanging around! Follow manufacturer instructions on all chemicals.

Do maintenance on your refrigerators and freezers. Your fridge and freezer need a little bit of TLC, and not just so that they can keep giving you cold drinks all summer! Left unchecked, fridges and freezers can be a common source of leaks.

Take a quick trip around the inside and the outside. Look for anything out of the ordinary – new cracks, wood that seems a little too soft. Be as observant as you can!

Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Make sure everything is working, and change the batteries if needed.
Check your roof. Do a walk-around inspection and look for any loose shingles or obvious, visible damage on the roof. A missing shingle now could lead to a leak later!

All of these tips are quick and easy, but they can save you a lot of headache and hassle in the future. And remember – if you do have any kind of flooding from a leaky roof, a broken outside faucet line, or anything else, give CODR a call. We’re experts at handling water damage, and we’ll be on site and ready to start work fast. You can reach us on our 24/7 emergency hotline at 541-318-7853. ... See MoreSee Less

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